President Donald Trump is accusing the New York Times of treason after the newspaper reported that the US is taking aggressive action to target Russia's power grid.
The paper reported US cyber-ops are inserting malicious code in Russia's power grid and other targets – a threat that could potentially cripple their systems if unleashed.
It's a sign that the US is going on the offensive to counter Russian intrusions in our systems.
However, the president tweeted that the story is not only untrue, but a "virtual act of treason."
"Do you believe that the Failing New York Times just did a story stating that the United States is substantially increasing Cyber Attacks on Russia. This is a virtual act of Treason by a once great paper so desperate for a story, any story, even if bad for our Country..." Trump tweeted.
.....ALSO, NOT TRUE! Anything goes with our Corrupt News Media today. They will do, or say, whatever it takes, with not even the slightest thought of consequence! These are true cowards and without doubt, THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2019
The Times said security officials did not express concerns about revealing the operation.
It also reported that Defense Department officials might not have briefed the president on details, citing concern among Pentagon and intelligence officials that he might put a stop to the program or talk about it with other governments.
Administration supporters say the action to target Russia is long overdue.
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) said, "The White House have pushed back against elements in this story. The bottom line is the president is taking aggressive action against Russia. I wish that had happened in 2016."
Last summer, the president signed a directive giving US cybercommand more leeway to carry out offensive operations without presidential approval.